Americans Playing in China: Top 10 Performances

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Have you ever wondered what became of Delonte West? How about Randolph Morris? Hamed Haddadi? Marcus 553px-Delonte_West_CelticsWilliams?

They are all part of the growing contingent of former NBA players in the Chinese Basketball Association. The CBA is definitely a league of its own and well worth following for its American star power.

Defense is not a priority in the CBA, an offensive-minded league which emphasizes transition and the 3-pointer. It is a great place for undersized guards, tweener forwards and big men not quite good enough to stick in the NBA.

If you want to see ludicrous individual performances on a nightly basis, look no further. Here are the top 10 reasons to follow the CBA this season.

Scotto: Kobe Bryant and Lakers Diagram Newest Championship Blueprint

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Kobe BryantKobe Bryant deserved every penny, if not more, of his two-year, $48.5 million contract extension.

And I’ll say this: Bryant doesn’t deserve to be criticized as selfish for the amount of money he will make, and any subsequent cap space the Lakers lose as a result.

Two of Bryant’s teammates, Chris Kaman and Xavier Henry, strongly agree.

“I personally think he deserved more,” Kaman told SheridanHoops. “I know the only exception with that comment is that it can be hard for teams to get other guys and to fit pieces in when a guy makes that much money. But other than that, I think with the television deal the Lakers got and with the long-term sponsors they’ve gotten off of the back of Kobe and some other players, I think he deserves it. I think he could have been underpaid for what the owners are making compared to what he’s making.”

“He’s earned everything he’s got,” Henry told Sheridan Hoops. “He literally has earned every single thing he’s gotten, so for people to think he should take more of a pay cut is really not the right idea and it’s unappreciative of what he’s done.”

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Extension Deadline Here For 2010 NBA Draft Class

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quincy pondexter extension

As you can see, Memphis Grizzlies small forward Quincy Pondexter had quite a treat waiting for him on Halloween.

That’s Pondexter, a member of the 2010 draft class, signing his contract extension, reportedly worth $14 million over four years.

Pondexter became the sixth member of the 2010 draft to get an extension, and might be the last. Teams have until midnight ET to lock up players drafted three years ago with long-term contracts, and no one else seems close to a deal.

Pondexter joined John Wall, Paul George, Larry Sanders, DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors as those who have gotten extensions. His is the first that has not averaged eight figures per season.

Earlier this month, the Grizzlies appeared to be targeting backup forward Ed Davis for an extension. But the sides reportedly were far apart, and the focus shifted to Pondexter, whose distance shooting is more valuable to how his team plays than the dime-a-dozen game of Davis.

Two more players from the 2010 draft appear to be likely candidates for big long-term extensions – Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe and Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.

However, neither player is reportedly close to a deal. And ironically, both are impacted by the four-year, $49 million package given to Favors, the most recent player to receive an extension.

Bledsoe is impacted because like Favors, he spent his first three seasons showing incredible promise primarily as a backup. No one questions whether he can start; the question is whether he can star, which is expected of players making $10 million per season.

And Hayward is impacted because he is Favors’ teammate, and the small-market Jazz cannot afford to be a tax team. They also have Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Trey Burke in line for extensions over the next several years.

Below is a rundown of all 30 first-round picks in the 2010 draft, their current status and their prospects for long-term security.

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Tweet of the Day: Jalen Rose Predicts Epic Un-Retirement

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Popular ESPN personality Bill Simmons and his NBA on ESPN cohost Jalen Rose sat in front of a camera to record the NBA Preview for the B.S. Report on Grantland.com.

During the episode, Jalen made a striking prediction for the 2013-14 NBA season.

That’s right. Jalen Rose expects 50-year-old Michael Jordan to come out of retirement and don a Charlotte Bobcats uniform or one game this season.

MJ-jersey

Will Michael Jordan ditch the tie to don the Bobcats jersey?

It’s quite a bold prediction.

Unfortunately, as the Grantland Network and Danny Chau suggest, it is quite unfounded.

According to Article XXIX, Section 8, of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, entitled “Limitation on Player Ownership”:

During the term of this Agreement, no NBA player may acquire or hold a direct or indirect interest in the ownership of any NBA Team; provided, however, that any player may own shares of any publicly-traded company that directly or indirectly owns an NBA Team.

Jordan’s current situation as the majority owner and chairman of the Bobcats prohibits him from suiting up as an NBA player.

The legalities involved in trying to make even a one-game comeback possible are quite overwhelming. It simply doesn’t make sense.

And, even though Simmons presumes that Rose tends to “know things,” there is no amount of inside knowledge that can supersede the collective bargaining agreement.

 

Previous Tweet Posts:

Tweet of the Day: Steve Kerr Terrorstruck Over Dwight Howard’s Newfound Ability

Tweet of the Day: NBA Players All Atwitter For NBA 2K14
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Michael writes the Tweet of the Day for SheridanHoops.com and is the Atlanta Hawks NBA Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com

Tweet of the Day: Stephon Marbury vs. the media

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Stephon Marbury clearly had some thoughts to let out, and he did just that with a pair of tweets directed at media members who were seemingly critical of the former NBA player.

Marbury’s first response to media came after Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted the following.

The tweet was over five months ago but clearly Marbury recently took offense to Isola bringing up the old news. Isola is referring to incidents that occurred when Marbury was a member of the Knicks. In both cases, the Knicks star player got into heated exchanges with teammates that nearly led to altercations.

Quentin Richardson and Stephon Marbury forcefully looking in opposite directions during a Knicks game.

Quentin Richardson and Stephon Marbury forcefully looking in opposite directions.

On a lighter note, Marbury’s second reply to media was much less disturbing.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld quoted Tracy McGrady saying that he’s been able to handle aging better than Gilbert Arenas and Marbury. It’s clear Marbury has been digging up tweets, as Kennedy’s is dated June 7.

By this point, he’s clearly cooled down.

His reply is priceless.

The quote may not be that out of line, McGrady was the only one out of the trio to play in the league last season. Marbury spent last year in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Beijing Ducks, meanwhile, Arenas played with the Shanghai Sharks, also in the CBA.

Maybe this is the last we’ll hear from the former All-Star, or maybe Marbury stepping up his Twitter game is just the beginning of an NBA comeback. Who knows?

 

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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops.